Happy Yom Kippur and Eid Mubarrak to all people who are celebrating holidays this past week!
The fashion industry continues to co-opt black trends that are considered “ghetto” or “ratchet” and make them fashionable. For an example, look at this ridiculous and overtly racist photoshoot from VICE magazine.
Read this great response to the appropriation of black culture by Elizabeth Wellington. She hits the nail on the head here:
My issue isn’t with borrowing elements of style that started in the heart of black America. Appropriation has been at the center of pop culture since well, the dawn of culture.
What’s difficult to digest is this “praise” of all things black — from cornrows and large booties to acrylic nails, door-knocker earrings, and tribal fabrics – only becomes “chic,” “trendy,” and “epic” when worn by white women. When these same cultural markers are on black women, they are “ghetto,” “urban,” and “ratchet” – meaning, unpretty.
In more appropriation news, the founders of the “Thug Kitchen” cookbook and website are white.
You can see how the internet responded via Facebook by finding screenshots like this on Tumblr.
Did you read Pippi Longstocking growing up? Did you ever see the movie that was produced in the ’80s? Did you know there was a TV show in the ’60s? Well, good news! Sweden is going to edit the racism out.
Speaking of racist TV, Donald Trump, who is naturally a scholar and expert on such topics, has lashed out on Twitter over the racism of the show Black-ish.
Twitter tried to educate him, which was a valiant effort but let’s be honest, is entirely ineffective.
Ben Affleck appropriately blew up on Bill Maher for his racist intolerant views on Islam and Muslim. Maybe Ben Affleck is the hero we need, but not the one we deserve.
Internet crush Jesse Williams has joined the voices calling for a boycott of Exodus by advocating for this via Tumblr.
In other casting news, perfect sweetheart Yvette Nicole Brown is leaving Community to take care of her father. While we all understand and respect her decision, she will be deeply missed, as she was already underutilized on the show.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the Ohio woman who is suing a sperm bank for a sperm mix-up where they received the sperm of a black donor, not a white one. She says because of this error, her daughter, who is biracial, will face many hardships since they live in a racially intolerant town. While I agree that the sperm bank is at fault for this error, the mother seems to be seeking compensation not just for the clerical error, but for the hardships she now faces because her daughter is biracial. In all articles that I’ve read she points out that they will have to move away because her town won’t tolerate a mixed-race child. If she lives in such an insensitive town, I don’t know how she could live there as part of a queer family. She also points out how hard it is to have her daughter’s hair done and she must drive to far away neighborhoods where they can adequately deal with her daughter’s hair. While I don’t doubt their love for their daughter, this whole story just reeks of white privilege to me and leaves me feeling worried for the little girl because her own mother can’t get past her “otherness.” What it seems like to me is that this couple is now forced to acknowledge racism as they are being personally affected by it and that makes them uncomfortable. That they feel that simply moving away will help with racism speaks of their white privilege. They don’t yet understand that it’s not just one town, but a whole cultural and political system that will affect their daughter’s life. Good luck Payton.
The NYPD continues to be a bastion for racial equality. Oh wait, no it doesn’t. This time, NYPD is being accused of kicking black teens out of predominantly white neighborhoods.
Once again proving the gross injustice of the judicial system, ex-cop Jon Burges, who was accused of torturing over a hundred black men in the South Side neighborhood of Chicago, has been released from prison after serving 3 ½ years. He was in prison for lying about the torture, not for the actual torture. Let that sink in. He has been released with his full police pension benefits, while his victims continue to seek reparations for the heinous acts committed against them.
Apparently we’re now using the moniker “post-Ferguson” even though there are still protests and activists struggling to be heard in Ferguson, and I guess “post-mainstream media coverage of Ferguson” isn’t that catchy. Washington Post had a study on “post-Ferguson” racial attitudes, which are fairly unsurprising to anyone who’s been paying attention.
And a flash mob interrupted the St. Louis Symphony with a song that made me teary-eyed calling for justice for Mike Brown.
I think it’s important because the people sitting at the Symphony are the kind of people that can ignore everything happening in Ferguson and this flash mob brings it to their safe space. In the video you can hear one person calling Mike Brown a “thug and a criminal.”
Want to know the most racist reason to send back a letter from an insurance company, or from anyone ever? This is a good place to start.
Jessica Williams continues to be the hero we need by continuing her segment on catcalling and street harassment.
This article on ABC Family as a leader in LGBT inclusive television highlights the diversity of The Fosters and other ABC Family programming, but doesn’t quite emphasize they way they portray intersectional identities.
Cracked has a pretty great article highlighting the struggles of child migrant workers on farms in the U.S. For the whole GMO/organic debate, these debates often remove the workers from the equation, and this article is a nice reminder that they exist and should be brought to the forefront of all discussion about food in America.
NaNoWriMo is coming up, and since October is usually the month where people are outlining and planning their projects, here are some helpful notes about terrible tropes for PoC characters, i.e. the wise-cracking minority or magical minority, framed mostly through a Native lens, but applicable to all stereotypes of various people of color.
We leave you with on the biggest bits of music news this past week, which was Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Rolling in the Deep.” Enjoy!
11 replies on “PoC News In America”
Seems unfair for you to assume anything about the people in the audience at the St Louis Symphony . . . because what . . . they are white . . . or they like Chopin? Is it rascist to assume that because they are white that they are racists?
Having played in orchestras since I was 9 years old, yeah, it’s a world that’s overwhelmingly white.
Missed my point
Sorry I’m getting to this so late, but where exactly did I assume anything about the audience? All I said was that they are the type of people that can ignore what is going on out in the streets of Ferguson. Their whiteness affords them that comfort. The black people and other people of color in the St. Louis area cannot just ignore what is going on, because it is a very racial experience. Do you think the protesters have time to sit and listen to the St. Louis Symphony? Do you think that the protesters can take a night off and forget that everything that is going on in their neighborhoods is most definitely racially charged? That’s a privilege we as people of color don’t have. We don’t get to forget about racism or racist events to just enjoy a night at the Symphony. This flash mob made sure that for once this audience would be forced to deal with something that the people of color of the area are dealing with every day since August.
Furthermore, I’m not assuming anything that hasn’t been written about before: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/for-some-ferguson-whites-racial-fault-lines-exposed-by-shooting-come-as-a-surprise/2014/10/07/a25d95c0-497f-11e4-891d-713f052086a0_story.html?tid=HP_lede
Taken directly from the article: “The situation has forced many white Ferguson residents in this majority-black city — from small-business owners to the mayor and police chief — to question their beliefs about the community’s racial dynamics.
They have discovered that blacks and whites here profoundly disagree about the existence of racism and the fairness of the justice system. And now, whites who once believed their town was an exception in a country struggling with racial divisions have to confront the possibility it is not.”
White privilege isn’t always about getting something over people of color. It’s the privilege to be ignorant to racism.
And you know what, no it’s not racist to assume the audience that can be clearly heard mocking Mike Brown is racist. That’s an assumption you made. But if you’re curious, racism doesn’t always have to be lynching someone from a tree or wearing a white hood. It comes it many forms. The mocking of a teenage boy who was murdered is one of them.
Finally, Sam White can address that last part of your question: http://youtu.be/mGe6TXbWmWI?t=13s
I wish I could easily say that Chicagato will read this thoughtful, factual, and respectful reply and enjoy a thoughtful and self-reflective moment of her own, but I also wish we could really pay in unicorns.
She only replies about once a year, but bless her heart, she stands out.
You know what, it’s fine if she doesn’t read it. The reply can be there in case anyone else happens upon the article and the comment. Lord knows this isn’t an uncommon complaint. So anyone else who might think that way can read my answer to them too!
And if you ever figure out that unicorn thing, I would love one my way. ;-)
You don’t bring a lot of good news, sadly enough.
BE BETTER, AMERICA.
Every week we get to writing we’re like oh look more depressing news. America needs to stop. Will we ever have a purely happy report? Probably not. And that’s what sad.
Yeah, little silly things, maybe. Or the things white people take for granted. Hrmpf.